The South Okanagan Women in Need Society has a freezer stocked full of delicious soup to get the individuals they help through the winter, thanks to a recent donation from Bogner's restaurant.
SOWINS, which offers shelter, emergency support, counselling, victim services and more for women and children in the community fleeing abusive situations, expressed their gratitude for Bogner's' continued support.
Darin Paterson, Bogner's head chef, said he and his team started making soups for the charity when COVID-19 hit and usual fundraising sources for food began to dry up.
"The first couple of rounds of soup, they actually found a donor, Ben Amos. And he donated $500 [for ingredients], and we made about 140 litres of soup," Paterson explained.
"Since then we've been doing it more or less when they need product. A couple of times JCI also found a bit of funding for it, so that came in, and we would use that money to buy basic goods, then we provided all the labour and skill."
In the fall of 2021, Paterson partnered with the UNISIS International School in Summerland to work with some of their international boarding students on creating soups for SOWINS out of donated ingredients, a program he understands the school hopes to continue to expand when the pandemic allows.
Then this past winter, Paterson learned donations were low again — a familiar situation to many charities and community groups as the pandemic continues. So during the popular annual Bogner's Christmas dinner sale, he decided Bogner's would donate one litre of soup per dinner sold.
That translated to well over 100 litres of soup, now housed at SOWINS.
"Hoping this batch will take us through the rest of this winter!" SOWINS shared on Facebook, alongside a photo of a chock-full freezer.
For Paterson, helping the charity is a no-brainer.
"The fact that they support women and children in the way they do is just something that to me is heartwarming, to be able to help in situations like that," Paterson said.
SOWINS has seen a distressing uptick in need for their services throughout the pandemic.
Anyone in need of help from SOWINS can contact the 24-hour crisis line and emergency shelter at: 250-493-7233 or toll-free at 1-800-814-2033.